chapter  2
16 Pages

GCSE: The National Criteria

WithDon Ramsden

The Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) had scarcely begun when the first proposal for a single grading system embracing CSE and the General Certificate of Education Ordinary level were published. The Secretary of State's requirement for the development of national criteria should have caused no surprise to those involved in the work. Both the Schools Council in 1976 and the Waddell Committee in 1978 had recommended that any new system should be supported by national criteria. The Joint Council considered this publication to ascertain whether to change the nature of the second phase of the national criteria exercise and whether it might be more appropriate to develop, as a first stage, criteria for curriculum areas, for example for science and humanities, rather than to extend the single subject approach. The National Criteria, though formally published in 1985 by the Government, are the shared property of the three bodies referred to earlier.